Congress sweeps reserved SC/ST seats in Telangana

The Congress won nine out of the 12 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes and 14 out of the 19 seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes

December 04, 2023 11:29 pm | Updated 11:29 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Telangana Congress workers celebrate their party’s victory in the State Assembly election at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad.

Telangana Congress workers celebrate their party’s victory in the State Assembly election at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

The Congress party has put up a stellar performance in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe reserved constituencies in Assembly elections in Telangana winning as many as 23 out of 31 seats.

A look at the statistics shows that 14 out of the 19 SC candidates fielded by the party won with handsome margins. Similarly, nine ST candidates triumphed out of the 12 constituencies. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) was relegated to the background as its five SC candidates and three ST candidates won the seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party drew a blank despite fielding candidates in all the 31 reserved constituencies.

Of the 64 winning candidates, a sizeable number of MLAs come from the reserved constituencies. In the 2018 elections, the Congress has won two SC and four ST seats and remaining seats went to the BRS.

The Congress pipped the BRS candidates with convincing margins. Seasoned SC leaders in the party like CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, former Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narasimha, former MP Gaddam Vivekananda and his brother and former Minister Gaddam Vinod have won the elections. Coming with experience all of them are serious contenders for ministerial berths.

Among the ST candidates, Dhanasari Anusuya — popularly called Seethakka — has won her third election from Mulugu constituency. Considered a close follower of TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy, she is also in the race for ministerial berth.

An analysis of the party’s performance in the reserved seats shows that the Congress party’s six guarantees were lapped up by the voters. The victory margin shows how the Congress candidates marched ahead against their rivals.

The anti-incumbency against the sitting BRS MLAs also translated into votes for the Congress. The disparity in giving Dalit Bandhu benefits to a select few also led to heartburn among the SCs. There are allegations that the followers of local BRS MLAs walked away with the $10-lakh assistance to set up micro enterprises leaving others bitter.

The BJP backed the SC sub-categorisation with an eye on the sizeable Madiga votes but failed to make any inroads. It appeared as if there were no takers for its attempt to woo the dominant Madiga sub-sect among the SC’s in Telangana. Malas are the other popular sub-sect among the SC’s, who call the shots in Andhra Pradesh.

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